Police departments use social media to spread information, solve crimes, and interact with the community, but sometimes it doesn’t always work out as planned.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported from a study
done by the International Association of Chiefs of Police that 96 percent of law enforcement agencies use social media and four in five of them have solved cases because of it.
Here are some moments when social media initiatives didn’t go as hoped:
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To foster community and positive feelings about the police department, New York law enforcement started a #myNYPD campaign and requested Twitter users post photos of themselves with police officers. Instead, people used it to document alleged police brutality.
Also in New York, a police officer posted a personal message making fun of a woman who had died after falling onto the subway tracks while using her iPad.
Police in Helsinki, Finland, posted on Facebook about the increase in reports of sexual assault, but also mentioned an increase in frivolous complaints.
"'I feel as though I’ve been drugged and raped' is one common complaint," the Facebook post read, YLE reported
. "The complainant often also admits that they’d been drinking a lot, but 'I would never have gone to bed with them if I’d been sober.'"
Commenters believed the remarks were too dismissive of rape victims.
Changes to the Wikipedia pages on Eric Garner, the stop-and-frisk policy in New York City, and NYPD leadership were traced to 1 Police Plaza, the headquarters of the NYPD. As the edits were made to advance the interest of the editor, it was a violation of Wikipedia’s policy, according to Capital New York
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In 2014, Salford Central police station in England on Twitter advised to those who are experiencing cyberbullying to delete their social media account. The station was quickly accused of blaming the victims, the Manchester Evening News reported
. The station tweeted an apology along with a link for bullying victims.
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